Thursday, March 6, 2014

"The Woman in Scarlet -Volume 6 -The Red Angel"

Listen. Do you hear that sound? That is the clear, hysterical sound of me. Screaming. Because... "THE WOMAN IN SCARLET" IS NOW A COMPLETE SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!That's right ladies and gentlemen! As of tonight, "The Woman in Scarlet -Volume 6 -The Red Angel" is now available on for only $.99. Am I a happy camper? Indeed I am. For anyone who is interested, here is the link. I hope you enjoy it! For a reference on the complete series, look on the bar under "My Stories."

Gotta run. Things to celebrate. :-)


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"The Call" -A Cool new Blog

As preluded above, I've discovered another wonderful blog that I've added to my list of blogs to share. This one is called "The Call" and it is kept up by sisters/writers Willow Silver and Darrion Marine, and Ammelia Gabriella and Billie Catherine. There they post chapters of the books they are working on and devote pages to the characters introduced, among other things. Definitely take some time to peruse their site. It's intriguing to say the least.


PS: You may have noticed the slight difference in font size. I did this because I've been noticing that it was even hard for me to read the "Normal" lettering on my homepage, and I wondered if it was hard for anyone else. Honestly, though, if I couldn't read the font size on a blog, I probably wouldn't visit it again. Hence the change. Hope it's a bit easier for people.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Q&A with Author Travis Perry

I had the wonderful opportunity to do a little interview with one of the collaborating authors of "Colony Zero," Travis Perry. Enjoy!

1. How does "Colony Zero" differ from anything else you've done?
I've never done a collaborative writing project in which all of the authors were focused on just one character in a mix that our publisher came up with. We all write multiple characters of course in Colony Zero, but having a primary focus on just one is different for me. I've worked on projects in which authors were free to make up whatever character they wished as long as they were in the story universe. Naturally people came up with their own characters under those circumstances--but that wasn't the same as picking one from a cast already conceived of by someone else. That's unique.
2. What attracted you to "Colony Zero"?
Giovanni Gelati of Helping Hands Press contacted me about helping with a specific writing project, in part based on my military background. He mentioned the picking a character out of a cast for that series, which interested me. He also mentioned almost in passing that he had an idea for a science fiction setting for the same kind of story. I told him I'd definitely be interested in that, too, since while I write many things, I consider myself primarily a science fiction writer. So you could say I'm looking for interesting work on contract in my preferred genre. :)
It also appealed to me that this series of stories is based on tales of short story length. I've written a novel and have worked on other novel-length works, but I'm a slow writer, so short story size lets me get out more story ideas in a shorter time.
3. Tell me a little about your journey as a writer.
I find this kinda hard to answer. The longest part of my journey was simply figuring out writing was something I could do. As I kid I enjoyed making up stories in my mind and creating big sloppy drawings. But writing assignments I found painful for the most part. I mostly hated all writing assignments in school and dreaded English class--though I enjoyed every book they assigned us to read. It wasn't until writing history papers in college I became fully convinced that I could write well. But I still disliked how much work it takes me to write. It wasn't until around ten years or so after college, in my 30s, that I seriously had the idea that I should combine the writing ability I had discovered with the imagination that had never gone away and write fiction. But it seemed to me that I fiddled around forever with just a few basic story ideas that weren't going anywhere. It's been since 2011, since I got published for the first time, that I've launched myself into more and more writing projects of differing types and have started to gain confidence that, "Yeah, I'm good at this." In the past 12 months alone my number of published works has gone from four to twelve, though four of those were self-published and a number of others have been short stories or based on short stories. Still, I feel as if I'm tangibly moving forward. It's very encouraging.
4. Where do you look to when you're hungry for inspiration?
I think I still struggle most with the act of writing instead of having inspiration, which I usually find easy. I may have a cathedral designed in my mind so to speak, but the laying each single brick down to construct it seems so constraining to me, plodding one word after word. Ugh. But I like seeing the finished work very much. 
Though it does happen sometimes that I get short of inspiration. Usually I pray about it, step away for a few minutes, and whatever I was missing just comes to me. Though on certain occasions I've been stuck longer without inspiration. That happened especially on my first novel, The Crystal Portal. I was stuck on the story for about two years actually. But once I realized I was making a mistake in not thinking enough about what my villain was doing, coming up with new ideas became relatively easy again (thank you, God).
5. Is there a character in the stories YOU have written that you most relate to? Why or why not?
I relate to a number of my characters in various ways but my character Zachariah from The Crystal Portal is mainly based on me drawing forth a lot of my own memories of how I felt at nine years old. Especially how curious I was about everything. So in a way, Zachariah is me. (Though unlike Zachariah, I was not someone who knew Jesus personally from the pre-ministry period as a carpenter in Nazareth...ahem...)
6. This is not your first collaborative project, as I understand. Are the experiences of coordinating with different authors for different series similar or various?
Yeah, it's been all different. Even in this project, coordinating with each of my fellow writers has been different from the rest. I hardly hear from Mark Carver at all, for example, but Mark Venturini is pretty open with questions and comments. Just to name two.
In spite of my deserved reputation as being an idea guy, I enjoy human beings (I'm no Sheldon Cooper). The interaction bit is part of the enjoyment of collaborative writing for me. It's nice to get to know so many new people, including you, Grace.
7. What branch of the military are you in? How has that effected your writing career?
I'm an Army Reserve officer. I was formerly enlisted and have had a wide variety of military positions and specialties (Cardiac technician, Army medic in both a National Guard MP company and a Reserve hospital unit, Medical equipment repair specialist, Generator repair specialist; Maintenance and Transportation positions as a new officer, in training positions as a Field Artillery officer, in military humanitarian project management as Civil Affairs (CA) officer, used foreign language and cultural skills as well in CA as a French and Spanish speaker; attended Army airborne training and French desert survival training). Each military experience gives me new situations I can draw on to talk about in stories. That's affected my writing, as has the fact that during downtimes on military duty I have found writing a good way to pass the time. It's probably the only time that writing isn't less fun than, say, watching TV.
8. Preferred caffeinated beverage?
Tea, Earl Grey, hot. ;) 
In spite of the throwaway Jean-Luc Piccard reference, I really do like tea. But I suppose I'm a caffeine omnivore, who tends to consume whatever happens to be available. :)
9. Favorite TV show or movie (if you have one)?
Star Trek had a huge influence in drawing me into science fiction. Among the individual Star Trek series and movies, I'm one of the minority who believes Deep Space Nine in the final analysis was the best thing Star Trek ever did.
My favorite movie shows my interest in science and space. No movie has been more enjoyable to me than Apollo 13 (though there are many, many, many close second runner-ups).
10. If you could talk to any fictional character, who would it be?
Wow. That's a really tough question. Some of the most interesting characters aren't particularly talkative. But I think I'd enjoy most having a philosophical discussion of knighthood and whatever else he wanted to talk about with Reepicheep of Narnia fame...
Wonderful talking with you, Travis.
And here is the link to Travis's blog, which I highly recommend visiting:

"Colony Zero -Volume 2 -Harmless as Serpents" by Travis Perry

The second volume of "Colony Zero" has finally been released! Check out the synopsis:

Trapped on Planet Zero, Captain Breneman and his crew search for a means to retrieve their vessel in orbit, not only to return to Earth, but to call for forces to deal with the Zeroes once and for all. Finding their own resources lacking, the Earthers decide their only means of escape lies in pretending to befriend key inhabitants of Colony Zero. All seems to be going according to plan when an unacceptable kindness drives Breneman's rage far beyond any semblance of control, astonishing his crew, and leaving one man's life hanging in the balance.
Ooh! Drama!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

We Want What We Can't Have... Gorram Netflix Queue

I don't know what it is, but I seem to have an unhealthy obsession with television shows that have been canceled. Perhaps I should really explain that more. I spend an embarrassing amount of time on YouTube and find clips from TV shows I've never seen or heard of. My first introduction to cancelled shows several years ago was Joss Whedon's "Firefly." After that I sort of spiraled in this path of thinking, "What else have I missed?" and "Why was this canceled?" Also among those thoughts was "FOX cannot be trusted!" But moving on... I remember I went through a brief "Buffy" phase (this was when I first discovered and even enjoyed "Legend of the Seeker" before it got polished off, although the last episode I remember of that series was the one with the fever. CREEPY!!! What else has there been? "X-Men: Evolutions" was one although I still have yet to finish that series. I loved "Leverage" while it lasted, though technically that doesn't count as being cancelled since the series reached a pretty natural closing point (for everyone except Eliot, but I suppose we can all dream). Stumbling upon "Being Human" on the BBC was quite a treat. My first awareness of Aidan Turner before he got all Dwarfed-up. Actually, wasn't he a werewolf in "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" before he was a Dwarf? Hmm... No, I'm quite sure Ireland native was a Dwarf before he was a werewolf... and a vampire before he was a Dwarf. What were we talking about? Scroll, scroll, scrolling through the conversation, oh, yeah! Canceled TV shows. "Being Human." My most recent obsession has been "Pushing Daisies" starring Lee Pace and Anna Friel. It's actually quite quirky and fun. Lots of comedy, color, romance... it has the feel of a modern fairy tale. If you're more into the zombie scene, then let me summarize the show for you: Ned is a pie maker with the unique ability of bringing something dead back to life for sixty seconds, after which time the person must either be put back to rest via Ned's second touch, or someone in proximity take their place. Thus the universe remains in balance. The Pie Maker and Private Investigator Emerson Cod team up to solve specific homicide cases. Specific meaning those that offer a reward for finding the murder victim's killer. Ned touches the victim, bringing them temporarily back to life, he asks them how they die, touches them again, and the pair split the reward money. All is good and well-to-do until the day Ned brings his childhood sweetheart (Anna Friel) back to life... and keeps her alive. The circumstances surrounding their friendship and the long separation since childhood certainly create for an interesting dynamic, especially since Ned cannot touch his friend, because doing so a second time would kill her permanently. Add to this the blatant stylings of Chi McBride and wonderfully talented Kristin Chenoweth and you've got yourself the vibrant cast of "Pushing Daisies."
Well I like the show. I may focus on the BBC's "Robin Hood" next, that looks promising. Of course I could always just read some Wiki synopsis and spoil the entire thing, but that ruins the whole experience of sitting down and watching the show (as if we don't do enough of that). So yeah, "Robin Hood" is probably next. What TV shows do you usually watch? My brother is really into "The Walking Dead," I like "Castle" and "Once Upon a Time," my sister and brother-in-law are "NCIS" diehards. Are you a more "Pretty Little Liars" or "Master Chef" kind of person?